Nick Goepper, a medalist in the first three Olympic men’s ski slopestyle competitions in 2014, 2018 and 2022, announced his retirement Friday at age 28.
“With great excitement and emotion I’d like to announce my retirement from full time competition,” Goepper posted on social media. “With great pleasure I can’t wait to watch the next generation take over and put freeskiing on a global stage. What’s next? Who knows. I’ll still be skiing, I’ll still be around.”
Goepper was part of a historic U.S. medals sweep in men’s ski slopestyle’s Olympic debut in 2014 in Russia. He went in as the favorite and ended up with bronze behind Joss Christensen and Gus Kenworthy. All three have now retired.
A month before the 2018 Olympics, Goepper began revealing in interviews that he dealt with depression, a drinking problem and suicidal thoughts in 2014 and 2015.
“He called one night, and he said, ‘Mom, I’m thinking about going to get a bottle of vodka and go sit in my car in Lambs Canyon [Utah] and drink the whole thing,’” his mom, Linda, said in a 2018 X Games interview. “Lambs Canyon was where another skier had committed suicide [2010 Olympic aerials silver medalist Jeret “Speedy” Peterson in 2011]. I knew that Nick was in trouble.”
He spent two months in rehab in fall 2015.
He returned to take Olympic silver in PyeongChang, jumping from eighth place after the second of three runs.
After winning his men’s ski slopestyle record-breaking fourth and final X Games Aspen title in 2021, Goepper took another Olympic silver last year behind countryman Alex Hall.
“[Winning three Olympic medals] is something I never dreamed of,” Goepper, who was 17 when the IOC added slopestyle to the Olympic program in 2011, said after last year’s medal. “If you asked me as a 16-year-old if this is what would be happening right now, I would tell you that you’re crazy.”
Goepper, from the small farming town of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, sold candy bars and mowed lawns to pay for ski passes at a nearby resort (“a glorified bunny hill”), a determination that eventually led to major corporate sponsorships.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nbcolympictalk